The 2018 vintage was one to savour for winemakers and grape growers, universally happy with a high quality harvest, and good yields. Above average winter rainfalls, followed by a dry spring and December and slightly above average temperatures meant the canopies grew quickly, with the vines flowering well to produce a good number of bunches. Warm to very warm temperatures through summer were followed by Indian summer like conditions through March and early April, with average temperatures delivering fruit to wineries in perfect condition.
Our high expectations of the Utopos Vineyard were easily delivered in an outstanding year, with the wines showing great structure, exceptional flavour and deep colour, alongside the hallmark natural acidity that defines this amazing place.
The idea here is to make the best wine I can from what the vineyard provides me each year. A meticulous approach to classification in the vineyard, during fermentation and maturation, and prior to assembling the final blend ensures only a very small quantity of this wine is bottled. In 2018 only 838 bottles were produced.
The 2018 εutopos is built around the oldest shiraz planting on the site. A tiny 0.4 Hectare block planted alongside Roennfeldt Road on a red clay and ironstone section of the vineyard in 1974 to the famous Kalimna 3C clone of shiraz, prized for its density of deep colour and dark fruited aromatics and flavours. A few stable mates from other blocks on the vineyard contribute to the wine’s lift, complexity and precise palate. Mataro (9.5%) adds herbal notes, darkness and charcuterie whilst a touch of Grenache (3.5%) allows wafts of brightly scented lifted red fruit to escape the intriguing aromatic. 1.4% Cabernet Sauvignon from Block 5 gives the tannin profile shape and definition whilst also enhancing the moccha notes on the palate. Matured for 20 months in 50% new very tight grained lightly toasted French oak (Allier forest) and 50% second use and then further matured in bottle for 2 years before release.
The nose shows plenty of liquorice and wafts of eucalypt with a touch of meaty/ savoury character emerging as the wine begins to show the benefits of bottle ageing. True to type from this vineyard, this is a rich, full flavoured wine of great concentration and length. The pure Shiraz fruit characters of dark cherry and chocolate drive down the palate, all framed with chalky tannin and that trademark Utopos acidity. Drink now to 20 years